The third aspect is: The Sunnah constitutes new rulings that are not mentioned in the Qur'an. The establishment of the Sunnah to new rulings means that the Sunnah constitutes new rulings in addition to the rulings mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an and the rulings of the Qur'an do not confirm or negate them. These rulings constitute a proof that should be acted upon because everyone accepts the rulings of Allah that were mentioned in the Qur'an accepts the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah because Allah commanded His Servants of obeying His Messenger and to resort to him in judgment.
A believer should accept the rulings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah because both rulings were sent down by Allah. (1)
Legislation in Islam is the legal ruling for every action whether that ruling is obligatory, prohibited, desirable, undesirable, or permissible and whether these actions are connected with habits —worldly matters as some new writers name or with the acts of worship— i.e., religious matters as those writers name.
Based on what has been mentioned, all words, actions, approvals reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) constitute a Shari`ah ruling whether that ruling is: obligation, prohibition, desirability, undesirability, or permissibility and whether that word, action, or approval is connected with a religious or a worldly matter because every action a person does must be judged according to the rulings of Allah.
That was the view of Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) when he was asked: "What is the meaning of a prophetic Hadith? Is it what the Prophet said during his lifetime or after receiving revelation? Is the meaning of the Prophetic Sunnah the legislations and code which the Prophet said?" He (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) replied: "Anything the Prophet (peace be upon him) said after receiving revelation and that thing was supported by a divine revelation and was not abrogated is considered part of the legislation which includes approval, prohibition, and permissibility. This includes the medical benefits which he said, such as the permissibility of using such and such medicine, therefore it was legislated because it is permissible or because the Prophet liked it; the output is: all his sayings constitute legislation." (2)
Second, the views of scholars regarding whether the Sunnah constitutes legislation or not:
Scholars have differed in this regard: Imam Al Shafi`y reported the disagreement of the Predecessors in this regard and said: "I do not know anyone among the scholars objects that the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is of three types. They agreed to two types and the two types are similar in some matters and different in others:
1- The ruling which Allah mentioned clearly in His Book, so the Messenger of Allah reported the Sunnah in accordance to that ruling.
2- The ruling which Allah mentioned in general in His Book, so the Prophet explained the general meaning of the ruling.
Those two types are agreed upon by scholars i.e., the Sunnah which matches the rulings of the Qur'an, and the Sunnah which explains the rulings of the Qur'an.
The third type is the Sunnah which the Messenger of Allah said without matching a text from the Qur'an.
A- Some scholars said: Allah gave the Prophet a merit because of his obedience and He (Allah) knew that the Prophet will act according to His Obedience, so He singled him out with setting legislation in matters that were not mentioned in the Qur'an.
B- Some of them said: The Prophet never constituted a ruling except it had an origin in the Qur'an as he explained the number of each Salah and how to perform them based on the origin that Salah was ordained originally in the Qur'an. Likewise the types of sales and other codes which he legislated because Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And eat up not one another's property unjustly (in any illegal way e.g. stealing, robbing, deceiving, etc.)" (3)
He said: "Whereas Allâh has permitted trading and forbidden Ribâ (usury)." (4)
So, what he made lawful or prohibited is just an explanation to the rulings of the Qur'an as he explained Salah.
C- Some of scholars said: Nay, his Sunnah was revealed to him, so his Sunnah was ordained by Allah.
D- Some scholars said: He was inspired by all the Sunnah which he did or said.(5)
When reviewing these views, we find them four but actually they can be grouped under two views:
The first view holds that the Sunnah constitutes new rulings in addition to the rulings of the Glorious Qur'an, and that category includes the first, the third, and the fourth views of Al Shafi`y. The majority of scholars hold that view but some of them said: Indeed, the Sunnah is accepted because it was reported from the infallible Prophet and was approved by Allah. Another scholar says: The Sunnah came with the message from Allah. The other says: He was inspired. The truth is that the Prophetic Sunnah is a collection of all these views.
Ash-Shawkany stated the view of the majority saying: "The certified scholars agreed that the Prophetic Sunnah may constitute new rulings and it is like the Qur'an in making things lawful or prohibited. It was authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said: "Behold! I have been given the Qur'an and something like it." (6) i.e., I have been given the Qur'an and I have been given the Sunnah which the Qur'an did not state." (7)
The second is: He says: The Sunnah does not constitute new rulings but after they have origins in the Qur'an even if they are implied in the general meanings of the Ayahs. (8)
This is the view of some scholars of the Predecessors as well as the view of Imam Ibn Hazm and Ash-Shatiby, as it was adopted by some modern writers. (9)
Every view has proofs upon which it based, and we shall review these proofs accompanied by the correct opinion from our point of view.
(1) See: Ar-Risalah p. 22.
(2) Majmu` Al Fatawa (18: 11 - 12) And see: As-Sunnah Tashri` Lazim p. 43.
(3) Surat An-Nisa': Surat An-Nisa': 29.
(4) Surat Al Baqarah: 275.
(5) Ar-Risalah p. (91 - 93).
(6) Reported by Abu Dawud (4/204), At-Tirmidhy (5/38) who said: a good but weird chain of narration from this way, and Ibn Majah (1/6) from the Hadith of Al Miqdam Ibn Ma`dyakrib.
(7) Irshad Al Fuhul p. 29.
(8) See: Al Shafi`y his life, time, views, and Fiqh by Sheikh Muhammad Abu Zahrah p. (238).
(9) Al Ihkam of Ibn Hazm (7/112) and Wa Al Mwafaqat (4/6).